Friday the 13th (1980)
One of the longest-running horror film series began with this gory shocker from director Sean S. Cunningham, who had previously produced Wes Craven's classic Last House on the Left. Entrepreneur Steve Christie (Peter Brouwer) re-opens Camp Crystal Lake after many years during which it has been cursed by murders and bad luck. The young and nubile counselors all begin to die extremely bloody deaths at the hands of an unseen killer during a rainstorm which isolates the camp. A woman is chopped in the face with an axe, another has her throat sliced in amazingly gruesome fashion, a male counselor (Harry Crosby) is pinned to a door with arrows, and a young Kevin Bacon has an arrow shoved through his throat from below a bed. Victor Miller's script is not particularly impressive, but Cunningham's tense direction, and some remarkable special-effects by acclaimed makeup artist Tom Savini are enough to make it worthwhile. 1950s quiz show regular Betsy Palmer appears as the cook whose son, Jason (Ari Lehman), drowned 25 years earlier while neglected by romancing counselors. Palmer was reportedly cast because she was willing to drive her own car to and from the set. Trivia buffs should note the decapitation scene near the end, in which the female killer exhibits rather hirsute hands clutching at the air. The hands belong to Savini's assistant, Taso N. Stavrakis. Friday the 13th made nearly 40 million dollars at the box office and spawned numerous sequels. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi … More
as Pamela Voorhees
as Alice Hardy
as Truck Driver
as Sgt. Tiemey
as Crazy Ralph
as Crazy Ralph
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Critic Reviews for Friday the 13th
It depicts what is surely the first recorded instance of the game "Strip Monopoly" and would later inspire Wet Hot American Summer, and we should all be grateful for that.
It hasn't aged well; its nonstyle renders it pretty sedate these days.
Has there ever been a more unimaginative exercise in big-screen terror?
What makes the movie work is that the slasher genre hadn't been set in stone yet, and some choices that director Sean S. Cunningham makes in the film that work against type.
a campfire boogeyman story designed to do little more than build tension and deliver a few well-timed shocks, which it does with precision and even a bit of artistry
How do you sum up a movie that's really quite awful yet helped define a filmmaking era?
Whether you want to credit or blame Friday the 13th for its role in influencing modern cineplex cinema is a matter of taste. [Blu-ray]
...a woefully bad slasher flick, complete with an inept cast (including Kevin Bacon in uncomfortably tight shorts); laborious pacing; and an interminable catfight climax.
Friday the 13th set the tone for the modern slasher flick. So you know which film to blame for all those lousy horror films.
You really have to wonder what exactly made the Friday the 13th series so wildly successful.
...perhaps more than any other film, it helped to popularize the slasher genre and codify the formula.
A classic Bacon
It may be one of the most famous, but it's certainly not an original on which others are based.
Unsophisticated by today's standards perhaps, but still contains plenty to satisfy the dedicated gore-hound.
For all its shoddiness, the film manages, just barely, to achieve its ignoble goals -- it delivers what it promises.
Audience Reviews for Friday the 13th
When you think this is the first movie of the infamous long series, it is hard to believe that the one that started it all is this awful and sluggish, and yet it did help shape the conventions of the slasher subgenre and at least has a good cinematography and great makeup effects.More
The killer surprised me a little bit. Expected someone else rather than...(see for yourself ).More
This is the film that launched the most successful Horror franchise in the history of the United States. It spawned 9 sequels, a crossover with Freddy Krueger, an eventual reboot, and a whole host of imitators. It was originally made to cash in on the success of the most brilliant slasher movie of all-time, John Carpenter's "Halloween". Needless to say, it took on a life of it's own.
Many would argue that this is the best of the Friday the 13th movies, and it's not difficult to understand their argument. After all, this was the birth of some of the most iconic characters in the history of Horror. I'm sure that it also benefited from being released prior to the eventual saturation of the slasher genre. Sean Cunningham was able to produce an ominous atmosphere, in what was probably one of the best settings ever imagined for a Horror movie. This film, along with it's sequels, had a pronounced influence on me as a child, so I'll always give Friday the 13th credit, at least from a nostalgic standpoint.
Unfortunately, I don't consider Friday the 13th that great of a movie. To me, much of the appeal of a "Friday the 13th" movie, was watching Jason kill people. The initial installment borrowed heavily from the Italian films, that were very influential at the time. The camera normally pans the surroundings with a voyeuristic approach. So in most cases, you're witnessing events from the viewpoint of the killer. It is effective at times, but it has never been my favorite technique. True to the Italian formula, the mysterious killer isn't revealed until the film's climax. In Friday the 13th, this results in a largely embarrassing cat fight between Pamela Voorhees and the "Alice" character. Further complaints would include the overly methodical pace, and the fact that after 30 years, the film hasn't aged well at all.
This is probably one of the better installments in the series, which might not be saying that much. You can certainly do worse if you're sitting down with a Friday the 13th movie, but there are far more entertaining slasher movies to spend your time on too.
Doesn't deserve classic status among top shelf horror greats like "Halloween" and " A Nightmare on Elm Street", but it certainly isn't that bad. The film has some good cinematography and has that old school horror feeling I love that just isn't there among horror films these days, but the script is lacking. If they would have gone with the "fake" ending I think it would have been a little stronger, but taken as it is Friday the 13th is just a mildy fun, but disposable horror film that for whatever reason gets cited among great films.More
Friday the 13th Quotes
- Why, when I looked into that mirror I knew I'd always be ugly. I said, "Lizzy, you'll always be plain."
- The boy...
- Sgt. Tierney:
- What boy?
- The little boy, Jason! The one who pulled me underneath the water!
- Sgt. Tierney:
- Man... we didn´t find any boy.
- Then he is still there...
- What you been smoking, boy?
- Smoke? Don't smoke cause cancer?
- You know what I mean! What, you just get off a spaceship or something? Come on, Coloumbian gold, man. Hash, the grass, the weed, dig it?
- Crazy Ralph:
- You're going to Camp Blood, ain't ya?
- Truck Driver:
- Goddammit, Ralph, get outta here! Go on, get! Leave people alone!
- Crazy Ralph:
- You'll never come back again.
- Truck Driver:
- Oh, shut up, Ralph.
- Crazy Ralph:
- It's got a death curse!
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